Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings opens in 1803, on Sarah Grimké's 11th birthday. To mark the occasion, her mother gives her an unwanted birthday gift: the awkwardly beribboned 10-year-old Hetty Grimké - Sarah's very own slave. Sarah is repulsed and tries to free Hetty that very night with a document she draws up herself, but it isn't that easy for the child of one of Charleston, S.C.'s first families. The two girls grow into womanhood bound together but separated by the chasm of their very different circumstances.
Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees and co-author of Traveling with Pomegranates, chooses to tell this story in first person and to alternate between the voices of Hetty and Sarah, one of many masterful choices that make The Invention of Wings a remarkable read.
The 7 pm event is free and open to the public. A 6 pm reception, by reservation only, is $30 per person and includes a copy of the book. Make reservations through the SMU website www.smu.edu/friends or by calling 214-268-3225.
Books will be available for purchase and there will be a book signing following the program.